Performance by the Gabriel Villarreal Foklore Academy at the Azuero Fair
An arch built decades ago with bricks made in the traditional way, welcomes visitors to the fair.
These ladies introduced us to the new attractions of the fair for this year.
Being Azuero one of the most important cattle raising areas in Panama, bovine exhibitions play a big role in this event.
Agriculture is another important economic activity of the local population.
The Azuero Fair is also one of the main cultural venues of the region, hosting folk dance performances such as this one by the Folklore Academy of Guarare.
The academy's director, Mr. Pastor Falconett, explained the history of this project and thanked the sponsorship, for seven years, of Melo.
The academy is a key player in the preservation of traditions among the children of Guarare and sorrounding areas.
There are several musical disciplines taught by the academy. One of them is the playing of the mejoranera, our national string instrument.
The sung decima, also known as mejorana, is another of the specialties that children study in this cultural project.
A big crowd followed the performance of these kids who are the future of our folk music.
Percussion instruments are also in the curriculum of this institution. Kids not only learn but also play along their instructors.
The accordion is another option for students wanting to develop their musical talent.
We took advantage of an interlude in the performances for tasting several Melo chicken hamburgers. No visit to a Panamanian fair or festival is complete without eating delicious Melo products, a staple in our dearest traditional celebrations.
Violin classes are also taught at the academy.
A folk dance group is also part of the preservation project. They closed the performance with several dances.
After the show, the kids and their mothers celebrated singing a happy tamborito during the bus trip back to Guarare.
The Azuero Fair, in addition to be an event centered in the agricultural and cattle raising business of the region, is also a cultural venue for folklore practitioners. Such is the case of the Gabriel Villarreal Folklore Academy, of Guarare, that was invited to show the talent of its students.
This academy, established in 2010, teaches several folk disciplines to local children and youth of the town of Guarare and nearby areas. Students do not pay tuition as their instructors, all recognized folklore practitioners, donate several weekly hours to teach them. The operating costs of the institution are covered by the generous sponsorship of Melo, a social and culturally responsible Panamanian business group.
The public attending the fair enjoyed a complete performance of all the specialties taught at the academy, such as violin, mejoranera, accordion, percussion, dances and mejorana singing. The show took place at the main stage of the fairgrounds.
We invite our readers to visit the next edition of the Azuero Fair. In order to learn its future dates and details about dozens of other traditional celebrations in Panama, check out our Digital Calendar of Traditional Festivities of Panama.